I’m having a happy time, despite the lockdown, trying to catch the bluetits in flight. For the very first time we have tenants in the bird box. One type of box hung for about 8 years with absolutely no occupant, except the odd squirrel perched on top, which might explain why no birds settled in. The current box had two fallow years to be followed by the absolute joy of residents arriving just as we were forced into ‘Lockdown’. So, now I can take pictures from a long lens camera set up in my office. Unfortunately only one angle seems to be possible, which is a bit limiting.

Nevertheless we have a few antics in focus to report. There is obviously nest building going on, with a certain amount of tapping to be heard close to the box. I was puzzled though to see one of the birds leaving the box with a beak full of moss. What could this mean? the wrong sort of moss? A better colour might be available at Farrow and Ball? Perhaps – oh horrid thought – a naughty neighbour stealing the moss after burgling the box?

Who knows what it meant, but it was a fascinating thing to see.

Bluetit peeking out

I’ve been thrilled to discover all sorts of websites where I can learn about birdsong, including this from the National Trust click here to enjoy the exercise in song recognition, so maybe as we walk through the countryside on our once a day permitted exercise I will be able to know more about what I am hearing.

The speed with which the bluetits approach and leave the box is absolutely breathtaking. Good strong light, a very high shutter speed and an intense focus on what’s about to happen let me catch a few of the antics they perform. Sometimes one is caught at the moment when the wings are folded, looking like a bullet! It doesn’t look possible but none of these images have been altered except to crop out the greenhouse, and improve the contrast where necessary.

The dive
Going in
On final approach
A fast exit
Checking out the scene
wonderful wings

So although this has been immense fun, it’s not my normal type of photography. I am therefore resisting buying an incrediby expensive long lens, which nonetheless I find desperately attractive. There’s never a really good excuse but I would need one for the cost involved this time!

I love you bluetits, but honestly I am longing to get back to horses and water anad seascapes. No idea when that will be…..